Welcome to Village Dreaming

A regenerative permaculture farm & cooking school on Dja Dja Wurrung land, in the central highlands of Victoria.

Share in our love of traditional cooking, sustainable living & togetherness via our hands-on workshops & our Orto Farm Stay straw eco cottage.

“Memories of the knowledge sharing, the foraging walk, the preparation, cooking, music and the eating will remain etched in my brain. Thank you.”

~ Paul Galea, workshop attendee

Learn pasta making at Village Dreaming
Learn artisinal skills at Orto Cooking School near Daylesford 1
Learn pasta making at Village Dreaming (2)
Traditional Italian cooking classes at Orto Cooking School
Village Dreaming facilitator Mara Ripani in her kitchen

Mara Ripani

I’m Mara, facilitator and co-founder at Village Dreaming. I inherited my food culture from my Italian parents. I’ve been growing my own food — and cooking, fermenting, dehydrating and bartering the harvest — for many decades now.

Picking a big basket of strawberries on the Village Dreaming permaculture farm

Permaculture farm

Village Dreaming is a 15-acre regenerative permaculture farm, kitchen gardens, orchard and wetlands near Daylesford. Our family has been here since 2015 — slow steps and incremental building…

Learning to make pasta at the Orto Cooking School, on the Village Dreaming permaculture farm.

Orto Cooking School

We love to share the ancient art of cooking the Italian way, plus fermenting, preserving and other simple ways to make the most of your harvest. Our cooking school also hosts workshops on soap making, sewing, mushroom foraging and passive solar design.

Upcoming workshops

Sustainability underpins our work and curates our class programming.

Join us for classes in foraging, sourdough bread baking, homemade pasta, edible weed feasts, wild fungi hunts, fermenting, food preserving, cheese-making and charcuterie. Plus natural dyeing using wild botanicals, braided rag rugs made from unwanted fabrics and passive solar design workshops with leading sustainability architects.

The straw cottage at Orto Farm Stay near Daylesford, Victoria

Orto Farm Stay

Stay in our strawbale eco cottage, near Daylesford

Lovingly furnished with found objects and vintage furniture, our straw cottage is cosy and comfortable. Enjoy a village-like atmosphere with beautiful views of Mount Franklin.

“We felt the warmest welcome from the moment we arrived. The accommodation was clean, warm and stylish. A truly amazing experience.”

~ Jodie, Orto Farm Stay guest

Latest from our farm blog

A festival of Flowers

A festival of Flowers

This article was first published in Sanctuary Magazine Issue 67 Words and photography: Mara Ripani There’s nothing lovelier than a bouquet of...

Wild Yeasted Bread Baking Class

Wild Yeasted Bread Baking Class

I love to teach the Bake's Percentage. A simple set of parameters that allow you to free form the bread making process. The Baker's Percentage...

The best gift

The best gift

I met my first best gift in year ten. A girl called Sam. Then along the way I met other gifts, Kulja, Jane, Lise, Amber. All of them great...

How to make home made pasta

How to make home made pasta

I started making my own pasta the moment I moved out of my family home. It was impossible not to. My mum always made it and therefore it was the...

Volunteers you are amazing!

Volunteers you are amazing!

We welcome volunteers from all over the world to ORTO. As well as local volunteers. I thrive on their visits and stories. I rejoice in the...

How to make Lilac Cordial

How to make Lilac Cordial

I want to build culture away from supermarkets and consumerism and into gardens, forests and streams. The very talented Caroline who wears a knitted...

Learn natural dying techniques at Orto Cooking School near Daylesford

“Staying on Mara’s farm is an experience we’ll never forget.”

~ Berna, Orto Farm Stay guest

Foraging for mushrooms in Victoria
Children foraging for mushrooms in a forest
Harvesting foraged mushrooms during a foraging workshop
Children in a forest during a mushroom foraging workshop